The new Honey Bee Research Centre (HBRC) at the University of Guelph, Ontario College of Agriculture will be an iconic, state-of-the-art research and event centre dedicated to honey bee health. Focused on research, education, discovery, and learning from one of nature’s greatest architects – the honeybees – this mass timber, low carbon project demonstrates sustainability and envisions an architecture of collaboration, ingenuity and efficiency.
Supporting flexible research and education for all ages, the HBRC will welcome children, students and scholars from around the world, and will contain a large, multi-functional Discovery and Learning Space, Exhibition Area, Research & Extraction Labs, Classrooms, a Café, and Gift Shop. The new 19,200 SF research centre will enhance connections to both the neighbouring University of Guelph campus, the surrounding natural landscape, and its existing integrated trail system. The new Centre is envisioned as both a productive and social landscape that accommodates diverse programming, research, and events.
Balancing the ecological functions of the site with educational programming, the grounds will formally highlight the productivity of the land through cultivated agricultural plots and working hives. The mass timber structure will include a sweeping occupiable roof structure that forms the focal expression of the public space. The roof and landscape will be integrated through a rising trail that leads to the Centre’s landmark Interpretive Tower. Doubling as a solar chimney and pollinator friendly habitat, the Interpretive Tower underscores the HBRC’s dedication to the preservation of Pollinator Pathways, honeybees and other pollinator insects.